Update: The Providence Journal 7-7 Blog is reporting that, as expected, Justice Suttell breezed through the House Judiciary Committee today. The vote was unanimous.
Original Post: According to the Providence Journal, Governor Don Carcieri has nominated Supreme Court Justice Paul A. Suttell, 50, to be the next chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Here is a picture of Suttell after he led a marvelous swearing-in ceremony for new members of the bar in 2008, including yours truly.
“Justice Suttell brings a wealth of judicial and scholarly experience to the position of Chief Justice,” said Governor Carcieri. “He has served the public with the highest honor and distinction, first as a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives and later as a Family Court Judge and Supreme Court Justice. He is a dedicated and conscientious jurist, whose understanding of the law and ability to lead will serve him well as Chief Justice.”
Suttell has served on the Supreme Court since 2003. Prior to that, he was on the Family Court bench for 13 years and, prior to that, he was a State Representative from 1983 to 1990. In addition, Suttell practiced at the law offices of Beals & DiFiore and Crowe, Chester & Adams, and was legal counsel to the Rhode Island House Minority Leader. Suttell graduated from Northwestern University and Suffolk University Law School. He is a resident of Little Compton and is an active member of the Sakonnet Preservation Association.
Before being sworn in as chief justice, Suttell will need the confirmation of both chambers of the General Assembly. I anticipate a quick and easy confirmation.